Brussels, 07 Oct 2003
A new study carried out by researchers from the University of Uppsala in Sweden claims that there is not enough oil and gas left in the world to lead to the disastrous global warming scenarios that were predicted in 1997 by leading climate change experts.
The scientists behind the new study claim that their analysis shows that combined world reserves of oil and gas are equal to around 3,500 billion barrels of oil. This is considerably less that even the most conservative estimate of 5,000 billon barrels, made by the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), whose predictions provided the impetus for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The IPCC's worst case scenario suggested that as many as 18,000 barrels remained unburned.
The University of Uppsala researchers are the latest addition to a growing lobby of experts who believe that oil supplies will peak as early as 2010, with gas levels peaking soon after.
However, the former head of the IPCC, Nebojsa Nekicenovic, defended the panel's original predictions, describing the University of Uppsala's estimate as 'conservative'. There is also a huge amount of coal still underground that could easily make up the shortfall, he added.